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Article

Bénédicte Martin

(b Roubaix, March 5, 1949).

French businessman, patron, and collector. Born into an industrial family from northern France, Bernard Arnault studied at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. After completing his studies, Arnault took over the family’s construction business, Ferret-Savinel, which he converted into a real estate company by the name of Ferinel in the 1980s. He then took over the Boussac Group, which was facing financial difficulties but controlled the department store Le Bon Marché and the fashion label Dior, among other assets. The ‘Arnault System’, which evolved from these moves, relied on a series of acquisitions that culminated on 13 January 1989 in his being appointed chairman of France’s foremost luxury goods conglomerate, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH). With a net worth of an estimated 37.2 billion euros in 2015, Bernard Arnault became the second wealthiest individual in France. The entrepreneurial structure of the French luxury industry is oligopolistic, with three international conglomerates dividing the market among themselves: LVMH, PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, controlling Gucci), and Richemont. This structure was created through the absorption of a number of independent small-scale businesses (so-called PMEs) associated with specific products and well-known brands. Since the late 20th century, the luxury houses have maintained privileged relationships with the art market. Window displays of luxury brands are frequently designed by artists, while the auction houses play more and more with the codes of the luxury industry, making the demarcations between these two worlds increasingly tenuous; art is central to the marketing strategy of the LVMH group....

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

[art consultant]

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like Albani family §(2). In the early 20th century the English dealer Joseph Duveen earned a knighthood for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of British galleries. Enlisted by the so-called American Robber Barons for advice in forming collections, Duveen brokered the sale of many notable Old Masters from English aristocrats to American millionaires, including Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, Henry E. Huntington, and Andrew Mellon. Their collections ultimately formed the nuclei of many great American museums. Duveen’s contemporary Bernard Berenson was an American scholar and expert on Renaissance painting who turned his hand to art advising. Berenson assisted Isabella Stewart Gardner in forming her renowned collection of Renaissance art. His legacy as an academic is controversial thanks to his habit of accepting payment in exchange for favourable ...

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Statistical measure showing the development of art prices since a chosen base year. Index series are often represented as graphs, and allow for a comparison with the performance of other assets. An index also enables the measurement of the correlation of art returns with changes in valuations of other investments. Two techniques are commonly used to construct an art price index based on auction transaction data. First, so-called ‘hedonic’ methods use all available sales information to measure changes in quality-adjusted average transaction prices. Second, ‘repeat-sales’ regression models only use price information on artworks for which at least two transactions are observed to estimate the average return in each period.

Measuring the returns to art Investments is not methodologically straightforward. While for a publicly traded financial asset (e.g. a stock in a large company) a price can typically be observed on any given day, in the Art market each item is unique and trades only very infrequently. Ideally, an art index would track the total monetary value of a representative portfolio of objects over time, but this is not possible as we do not observe prices for the same set of artworks in every period. For this reason, even an index based on unadjusted average prices will not accurately capture changes in the willingness to pay for art over time. For example, even if the average price of all transacted artworks is twice as large in one period compared to the previous one, this does not mean that the typical item has doubled in value; it could be that in the second period there were more transactions of relatively more attractive works....

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (see also Investment).

The first major development has been the spread of art price information and art price indexes over the last half-century. After a few difficult decades, art price levels and public interest in the art market were going up again in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of books on the history of the art market and on art investment that were published around that time—Le Vie Etrange des Objets (1959) by Maurice Rheims, Art as an Investment...

Article

(b New York, March 31, 1848; d Hever Castle, Kent, Oct 18, 1919).

British collector of American birth. He was a member of a wealthy family whose fortune came from fur trading; he became interested in art and antiquity during his appointment as American Minister in Rome (1882–5), rapidly acquiring a fine collection of ancient and Renaissance sculpture. He transferred the collection to England when his term as minister ended, dividing it between his country houses at Cliveden, Bucks, and Hever Castle, Kent. His eclectic, Neo-classical displays were in keeping with the nostalgic grandeur of Edwardian England. At Cliveden, eight Roman sarcophagi in the forecourt were matched on the rear terraces by Renaissance fountains and balustrades exported from the Villa Borghese in Rome. Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, was restored and enlarged by Astor far beyond its medieval extent, and a Renaissance atmosphere was achieved by means of the placement of numerous Roman sculptures, including further fine sarcophagi (sold in ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches.

Historically, the patrons who commissioned Old Masters placed a premium on subject-matter rather than originality, and popular narratives were requested by multiple patrons, creating conditions in which the demand for copies could flourish (see Copy). Popular compositions were often reproduced many times: by the master himself, an apprentice in his workshop, or even a later follower or imitator. A master trained his apprentices to approximate his manner as closely as possible, and sold the finished work under his own name. In some cases a master would paint the most important part of a work (such as the faces of the central figures) before delegating the rest to apprentices. Through the 19th century, pupils at prestigious institutions were taught by making copies of works by acknowledged masters. Many pieces, particularly drawings (which for much of their history were working tools, rather than art objects), were unsigned. Damaged or incomplete works of art were subjected to extensive restoration or reworking by later artists, a process that can cloud the question of attribution....

Article

M. Sue Kendall

(b Philadelphia, PA, Jan 2, 1872; d Chester County, PA, July 24, 1951).

American chemist and collector. Barnes made his fortune after discovering the drug Argyrol in 1902. By 1907 he had become a millionaire. He and his wife moved to the suburb of Merion on Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line and with his new income began to collect paintings of the Barbizon school. In 1910 he renewed contact with a former school friend, William J. Glackens, who introduced him to the works of Maurice Prendergast, Alfred H. Maurer and Charles Demuth, and who encouraged Barnes to collect Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings instead of Barbizon works. In 1912 Barnes gave Glackens £20,000 to go to Paris and buy whatever art he saw fit. Glackens, with the help of Maurer, acquired for Barnes works by Renoir, Degas, van Gogh, Cézanne, Monet, Gauguin, Pissarro, Sisley and Seurat. In Paris, Glackens introduced Barnes to Gertrude and Leo Stein, through whom he became familiar with the work of Picasso and Matisse....

Article

Malcolm Gee

(b Berlin, Jan 6, 1914; d Paris, Feb 23, 2007).

German American art dealer and collector, active in France. Berggruen came from a middle-class Jewish family. He immigrated to the USA in 1937, and was granted American citizenship in 1941. He served in the army between 1942 and 1945. After a period working as a journalist in Munich and in the museum section of UNESCO, he set up as an art dealer in Paris in 1948, based from 1950 onwards in a modest gallery on the Rue de l’Université. The Berggruen Gallery specialized in modern graphic art, including Pablo Picasso, and was the principal source in Paris of the work of Paul Klee. Berggruen retired in 1980 and focused on his personal collection of classic modern art. In 1996 Berggruen was invited to put his collection on public display in Berlin in what was originally barracks for the Gardes du Corps, designed by Friedrich August Stüler, where it was known as the Berggruen Collection. In ...

Article

Bliss  

Anne McClanan

American collectors. Robert Woods Bliss (b St Louis, MO, 5 Aug 1875; d Washington, DC, 19 April 1962) and his wife, Mildred Bliss (née Barnes) (b New York City, Sept 1879; d Washington, 17 Jan 1969), developed their interest in art while living abroad, where Robert Bliss served as a diplomat until his retirement in 1933. They were particularly concerned with the then neglected areas of Pre-Columbian and Byzantine art. Their Byzantine collection included coins, icons, ivories, mosaics, jewellery, and textiles; their Pre-Columbian collection was similarly wide-ranging. In 1920 Robert and Mildred Bliss purchased Dumbarton Oaks, a large house in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. Although they lived there intermittently for only seven years, they extensively renovated the house and over 53-acre garden. Lawrence Grant White (1887–1956), who had worked at McKim, Mead & White (where his father, Stanford White, was a founding partner), was the architect responsible for adding the music room in ...

Article

Bénédicte Martin

(b 1939).

French art dealer. Blondel became active as an art dealer in Paris in the late 1960s, and his high-profile gallery in the Marais district closed in December 2014. Blondel is best remembered for restoring attention, in the market and in the scholar community, to figurative painters from between the two world wars such as Tamara de Lempicka, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1881–1949). Blondel was also interested in the applied arts, dealing for instance in Jean-Jacques Ruhlmann furniture and Gallé glass, when few collectors were interested in these objects. After studying architecture, Blondel became keenly interested in art, developing a special fascination with Hector Guimard, the Art Nouveau architect and furniture designer who famously created the iconic Parisian Métro entrances. In 1966 Blondel’s passion inspired him to open his first gallery, the Galerie des quatre vents (Gallery of Four Winds), in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. His intention at the time was to re-value forgotten artists from the first half of the 20th century. Due to public indifference, many paintings and objects from this period were very accessibly priced. Demand for such objects was very low, and a functioning market for this niche hardly existed. At the same time, Blondel and Laurent Sully Jaulmes began an urban photography project, which they pursued between ...

Article

Bonhams  

Molly K. Dorkin

[Jones and Bonham; Bonhams & Brooks; Bonhams & Butterfields; Bonhams & Goodman]

Auction house established in London 1793 by William Charles Bonham, a book dealer (also recorded as Walter Bonham), and George Jones, from a gallery founded by Thomas Dodd (1771–1850), a dealer in antiquarian prints. Bonhams originally specialized in sales of prints in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the market was robust. By the 19th century Bonhams was also holding sales of antiques, which were advertised in the London press alongside similar offerings from Christie’s and Phillips. In the 1820s Dodd and fellow print dealer Martin Colnaghi catalogued the print collection belonging to Horace Walpole prior to its sale. Dodd and Colnaghi also catalogued the 50,000 works in the collection of Francis Douce for their donation to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. By the 1850s Jones’s son Henry and Bonham’s son George had taken over the business, which became known as Jones and Bonham. Paintings had been offered in their sales alongside print collections since the 1840s....

Article

Thomas P. McNulty

American philanthropists and art collectors. Eli Broad (b New York, June 6, 1933) spent most of his youth in Detroit, MI. In 1954 he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting, and married Edythe Lois Lawson. Upon graduation, Eli Broad began his career as a professional accountant but changed course when in 1957 he co-founded (with Donald Kaufman, a builder) the Detroit company Kaufman & Broad, which produced inexpensive homes for the rapidly expanding post–World War II population.

Kaufman & Broad attained considerable success in the 1950s, and continued to expand in the decades that followed. In an attempt to diversify its income stream, Kaufman & Broad entered the insurance market, beginning with its acquisition of Sun Life Insurance in the late 1970s, and its addition of a second insurance firm—Coastal States Corp.—by the mid-1980s. With the acquisition of still more insurance and financial companies, Broad’s holdings were organized under a new firm—Broad Inc.—later renamed SunAmerica, which in turn would be acquired by the international insurance giant American International Group (AIG). Broad remained with AIG through to the end of the 1990s, when he retired and, with his wife Edythe, began to pursue their interests in collecting and philanthropy....

Article

Simon Pepper

(b Dunfermline, Scotland, Nov 25, 1835; d Lenox, MA, Aug 11, 1919).

American industrialist and patron of Scottish birth. Aged 11, Andrew Carnegie immigrated with his parents to Allegheny, near Pittsburgh, PA, where he educated himself while working as an office messenger and telegraph operator, before rising to enormous wealth through railroads, oil, and the iron and steel industries. During his lifetime he gave more than $350 million to a variety of social, educational, and cultural causes, the best known being his support for public libraries, which he believed would provide opportunities for self-improvement without ‘any taint of charity’. Here communities had to pay for the building site and the books, and to commit at least 10 per cent of Carnegie’s initial gift in annual support. As Carnegie struggled to give away money—for ‘to die rich was to die disgraced’—music, fine art, archaeology, and technical schools also became beneficiaries, together with programmes for the education of minorities in recognition of civilian heroism and world peace (still a central concern of the Carnegie Foundation)....

Article

Titia Hulst

(b Trieste, Austro-Hungarian Empire [now Italy], Sept 4, 1907; d New York City, Aug 21, 1999).

American art dealer. Leo Castelli opened his eponymous gallery in 1957 and he gave Jasper Johns his first solo show in 1958, which established both the artist’s and the dealer’s reputations as Castelli sought to identify the successor generation to the Abstract Expressionism; the gallery’s stable included Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Lee Bontecou, and Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. After the Green Gallery closed in 1965, the Minimalist artists Robert Morris, Larry Poons, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin joined as well, establishing Leo Castelli as the pre-eminent dealer in American avant-garde art.

Leo Castelli obtained a law degree from the University of Milan in 1924 and started his career in banking and insurance. He married Ileana Shapiro, the daughter of a wealthy Romanian industrialist in 1933 (they divorced in 1959), and moved to Paris in 1934. He partnered in 1939 with interior designer René Drouin to open the Galerie d’Art Décoratif. A childhood friend from Trieste, the artist ...

Article

Noël Annesley

[Christie, Manson & Woods]

Auction house founded in London by James Christie (1730–1803). After a few years spent in the navy, James Christie worked as an assistant to an auctioneer named Mr Annesley in Covent Garden, London. He left Annesley in 1763 to set up on his own and in 1766 established his firm at the print warehouse of Richard Dalton in Pall Mall, where the Royal Academy held its exhibitions in its early years. In 1770 he moved his premises next door to Schomberg House, Pall Mall, where Thomas Gainsborough lived. The first known catalogue is dated 5 December 1766; it includes little of value except for a picture by Aelbert Cuyp. Christie rapidly established himself as one of the foremost auctioneers, however, cultivating a circle of friends and advisers that included Gainsborough, Reynolds, Horace Walpole, David Garrick, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Edmund Burke, and receiving many auction consignments from royalty and the nobility. During the French Revolution the firm did particularly well through the abundance of works then coming into Britain. Among the more notable early Christie sales were that of the former collection of Pope ...

Article

Stephen T. Clarke, Harley Preston and Lin Barton

English family of silversmiths, industrialists, collectors, and patrons, of French origin. The family originated from the town of St Pierre on the Ile d’Oléron off La Rochelle. They arrived in London a few years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and between 1708 and 1780 three generations of Courtauld silversmiths were registered at the Goldsmiths’ Company. Augustine Courtauld (c.1686–c. 1751) was apprenticed to Simon Pantin in 1701 and, after becoming a freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1708, he started a business as a plateworker in Church Court, off St Martin’s Lane in London. The majority of his work is of high quality, for example a silver tea-table (1742; St Petersburg, Hermitage) and the state salt of the Corporation of the City of London (1730; London, Mansion House). Augustine’s brother Pierre Courtauld (1690–1729) registered a mark in 1721...

Article

Joseph R. Givens

(b Hartford, CT, July 9, 1952).

American art dealer, curator, and critic. Deitch is best known for transforming the American art market with the introduction of post-industrial business practices. A Connecticut native, he studied art history at Wesleyan University (1970–74) and opened his first gallery in 1972 at the Curtis Hotel in Lenox, MA. He studied the economics of art at Harvard Business School, and earned an MBA in 1978. His 1980 essay, The Warhol Product, was one of the first publications to address the post-modern phenomenon of art as commodity. In 1979 Deitch helped guide financial institutions into the business of art investment services by co-developing Citibank’s Art Advisory Service, a comprehensive service model that provided élite clients with loans, strategic collection consultation, historical information, and shipping and insurance management. After transitioning to a full-time, self-employed art dealer in 1988, Deitch brokered the secondary market sale of Jasper Johns’s White Flag (...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

The world’s oldest auction house, founded in Vienna in April 1707 by Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (reg 1705–11). Originally called the Versatz- und Fragamt zu Wien (‘The Pawn and Query Bureau of Vienna’), the firm moved in 1777 to the site of an old monastery, the Dorotheerkloster, from which the name ‘Dorotheum’ is derived. By the end of the 19th century the premises were outdated, so Emperor Francis-Joseph I (reg 1848–1916) commissioned the architect Emil von Förster (1838–1909) to design a suitably grand building. This new structure, called the Palais Dorotheum, was completed and formally opened in 1901 by the Emperor, in whose honour the central hall was named. In the early years of the 20th century the Dorotheum introduced many innovations to their auctioneering process, such as the division of sales into categories by object type. The first unique categories, introduced in 1900, were art and numismatics....

Article

Electronic transactions of art over the internet. Since the introduction of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s, e-commerce has grown to become a very important channel for the trade of goods as well as services. Several attempts to transition the art market to the internet have been made since the late 1990s and initial results have been mixed. The e-commerce of art has mainly captured the lower end of the market and only recently efforts have been made to create an electronic presence at the upper end of the market. This segmentation, in combination with concurrent technological advancements, led to new ways of experiencing art online and is driving the transformation of the art market that we see today.

Consumer markets on the internet have grown rapidly since the 1990s and, in 2014, e-commerce represented more than 6 per cent of all retail trade in the USA, growing at 15 per cent annually. Globally, it exceeds $1 trillion every year. Thus, e-commerce has grown vastly since the mid-1990s, when one of the most prominent operators of internet auctions opened to the public: eBay.com. Due to its success, eBay has become one of the most studied online markets and it has also had a large impact on many other marketplaces around the world, which, with only small modifications, have mimicked its design....

Article

Bénédicte Martin

[Cousin Pons; Paul du Crotoy; Paul du Gord]

(b Le Crotoy, Somme, Oct 23, 1837; d Cellettes, Loir et Cher, Nov 18, 1911).

French art journalist and collector. After completing his secondary studies in Nantes, Eudel sailed for the island of Réunion where he gathered materials for travel accounts to be published in various regional newspapers upon his return to Nantes. In 1871 he was elected a municipal councillor of Nantes, where he was notably responsible for the public library. After settling in Paris in 1877 to work in journalism, Eudel threw himself into collecting art, becoming a great collector and connoisseur of antique silver. As a critic he contributed to several leading art periodicals: Journal des Arts, Journal des Artistes, Revue des Arts Décoratifs, L’Opinion, La Vie Moderne, Le Figaro, Le Temps, and L’Illustration. Most notably, his reputation as the foremost art-market journalist of the 19th century was established with a series of articles published in Le Figaro, beginning in 1881, which principally covered sales in the Hôtel Drouot auction house. These essays first appeared individually in newspapers and magazines, but were reprinted in a set of year books, consisting of nine volumes, that appeared between ...